WC's three dreaded words

WC's three dreaded words

A Story by Relic
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Whenever I kickoff a story on this site that's been penned by an unfamiliar writer, I will often-times scroll to the bottom first where the author's note lies. I want to be sure those three dreaded words aren't lurking beneath like a scaly monster, hidden and poised to snap its hideous jaws on my chum-like eyes. 

You've probably been a victim of this assault yourself. Should I even say the terrifying words that send shock waves through the water of every bathtub in town? The thought of that scandalous phrase sends shivers through me like drumsticks rattling out a double ratamacue on each bone of my ribcage. "Ignore the grammar." 

Ooooo, shivers!

Similar sayings pop into my head like dark echoes from a cold nightmare.

~ Ignore the persistent static on my radio. I want feedback on what you hear the voices saying. 

~Ignore the river of water on my floor. Tell me how the clothes look when I take them out of the washing machine.

~Ignore the jolting potholes. Start out here, drive to the end of the road, turnaround, then come back and let me know what you thought of the ride. I'll change the dented wheel rims later.


Those three dreadful words are a giveaway; a signpost to possible disappointment. They tell me the writer is not only too anxious for approval on a job that's half-done, he probably hasn't learned the fundamentals of writing. He's taking a shot in the dark that people will enjoy it, regardless of any glaring mistakes. Although some will, I've always got a tank-full of trepidation before putting my mind in drive to start the first line. 

Basic grammar is a part of the writing process you're not naturally born with. You can't skip it in school or bypass it because your desire to share is greater. The accused writers may respond: "Well, I'm just testing out my story to see if anyone will like it...to see if I'm a good enough writer." Or, said in a different way--I'm looking for a guinea pig to test this on; to see what kind of feedback I get. I know the grammar's bad, just tell me if you enjoy my story idea.

On the other side of the coin, a writer's first language may be foreign. Thus, like others whose first language is English, he may not feel confident and therefore wants you to 'bypass' the grammar errors. 

I recall taking a ride in a friends dune buggy once. The shocks were horrendous, but he repaired the engine and wanted me to come along. Okay, I said, reluctantly, so off we went. He raced through the woods up and down through dips and bumps along the trail until I thought I would fly out like an injured bird, feathers flying in all directions. 

"What do ya think!" he bellowed out when it was over, our hair twisted in a mess from the ride. "Well, I said--my heart still pounding like a headache--that was quite a ride alright, haha." You can imagine what I was really thinking. I didn't want to hurt his feelings so I lied. Should I buffer my answer the same way to pacify someone who doesn't speak the same language I do? Should I do it to make him feel good? Do people learn and improve that way? 

It doesn't take a thousand years to get good at grammar. Moreover, the art of revising should also be considered just as important and an integral part of it. To underrate such a tool is a mistake. One I've made too many times. 

I think there are many good writers with good ideas just waiting to be read. So if you happen to be one of those people who add those three dreaded words to your author's notes, there are many books and online sites that can help. You'll feel a lot better if you take the time to look. Learn the basics of your craft. If not for yourself, for your readers. 

© 2018 Relic



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Good spelling is essential, but deviations can be employed for effect, such as in dialogue. This would be obvious, and acceptable, a long as it is not overdone.
But... whenever I see the dreaded SPAG reference, I cringe....
Although I have never actually done this, I have an overwhelming urge to reply with "Story ignored, as requested".
With automatic spell checks, which must appear when using the computer to submit the "masterpiece", the indication is there, to send the writer to a dictionary or thesaurus . No dictionary, Google it. It's quicker.

Posted 2 Months Ago


 Relic

2 Months Ago

I agree with your views, Norman. I have Grammarly on my laptop which is more than happy to point out.. read more
Thank you for saying everything I’m thinking all the time as I review 20 pieces a day most of the time on this website. I barely offer one spelling correction & half the time I get my head bit off, saying THAT’S HOW THEY WANTED IT TO BE! So I stopped going there, as far as “SPAG” (many don’t know this acronym, so seldom used – Spelling and Grammar) . . . it doesn’t matter whether your dreaded words are in the author’s note or not, I’m not going to get into a pissing contest with some self-righteous whippersnapper who has no idea what’s it’s like to get paid regularly for perfectly crafted writing over the course of decades & it’s nice to be able to pay the bills, huh? The ones who have the most lofty fantasies of being published seem to be the ones with the worst SPAG! Anyhow, I know someone has to be the badass & I’m glad it’s you. Even tho your words are a bit harsh, you’re actually being more gentle than I would be if I got on a rant about this. You bring up solid specific points that need to be said. I think I feel a rant coming on . . . but for me, it’s the freakin’ dreary pity parties so rampant here at times! *wink! wink!* Thanks for boosting the integrity of our writing group here (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 5 Months Ago


 Relic

5 Months Ago

Thanks very much for your thoughts, Margie.
The overwhelming desire to pen and exhibit their thoughts and get approval is a common desire among writers. Wanting to improve and better their writing takes a little humility. Most of them often accept any help and suggestions experienced writers give.Any advice given with a little understanding of the writers' capacity goes a long way.

Posted 5 Months Ago


 Relic

5 Months Ago

Thanks for your thoughts, Mrundula.
You're advice is really. Good. Its no grammer book, but this; is like Tom Arnold good. Rock on ma dud

Posted 5 Months Ago


I take liberties with language; it's my right - I'm a writer, or so say I. Spelling? Spelling is an art from that can be learned, but good spellers are born with the knack otherwise mayonnaise would have only one "n".
What I need is the gentle, insightful reader who with diligence and esp can figure out when I intend to transgress and ignore it and instances when I accidentally screw the pooch grammatically and call me out on those foul ups.

Posted 5 Months Ago


 Relic

5 Months Ago

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Delmar.
amen to this......to all of this. A story may have potential, but without proper rendering and execution, what's the point? The readers are simply going to get lost in a bad way. Not everyone is as analytical of stories and poems as the best of us. Don't be lazy. Polish it up, and then post it. It would be all the more rewarding.

Posted 5 Months Ago


 Relic

5 Months Ago

Well said. Thanks, emipoemi.
emipoemi

5 Months Ago

my pleasure.
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Gee
My grammar ain't the best and I excuse myself inwardly but would never dream to pen those three letter words.
Need to sort out my to and too.
Any help accepted.
Enjoyed the read relic

Posted 5 Months Ago


 Relic

5 Months Ago

Thanks for reading, Gee.
this is very informative thanks for this

Posted 5 Months Ago


 Relic

5 Months Ago

Thanks for reading.
i liked what you said..still i think thoughts ,some inspiring words and lots of tricks along the way that will inflame your mind ..that came from whoever..having strong insight and a dive into deep strange worlds could bypass.. all through the ingenious mind..the zealous thoughts could force you to read no mater how they were produced..

Posted 5 Months Ago


 Relic

5 Months Ago

Thanks for reading.
bluessadmood

5 Months Ago

you are welcome
I agree. When I see those three words, I move on. Most of us on this site feel that words are very special. We are poets or short story writers and words are our gift. But grammar is part of it, as well as spelling. We can't ignore it, it is part of our craft.
j.

Posted 5 Months Ago


 Relic

5 Months Ago

I agree, Jacob. Thank you.

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Added on May 14, 2018
Last Updated on July 22, 2018

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 Relic
Relic

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